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Google's Matt Cutts: What To Expect In The Coming Months
engine

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 4:26 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)
Google's Matt Cutts does a roundup of what webmasters and SEOs can expect in the coming months.

Here's the video.




 

chrisv1963

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 2:25 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

How can you objectively tell if you have adequate, good, or great content?


I knew that I had good content when visitors sent emails to tell me that they loved the site and to ask me to add pages about certain other subjects. I had a very successful Q&A service. Free answers, written by industry professionals.

And then ... Panda came along ... the emails stopped ... the Q&A dried up. Google decided that all those happy visitors were wrong ... very wrong. They didn't know what was good for themselves and it was about time that Google showed them the right direction.

taberstruths



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 2:29 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Chrisv1962 But that is subjective. I love the emails I get as well. It makes my day. However you don't know if that was 1 person in 1000, or 1 out of 10. The objective way to tell is by tracking what is happening with "all" your visitors.

Shepherd



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 2:46 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

the emails stopped


Where did they go? Did the need for your information go away or are the customers/user finding it somewhere else?

Here's a question that everyone should continually ask themselves: If google closes their doors today what happens to my business?

IngoZ



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 2:51 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Another example in which I want to explain this situation, let's say I bought a tv and want to tell Google, or to other people I'm satisfied with the product, I recommend this company, how can I do it? probably I have to create a blogspot blog and say, Hello Google, I recommend this company (link here), the tv I bought (brand here) is good. If you don't do this your opinion as customer will not count. For Google the reviews are important, but can we trust the reviews published on other sites, can we trust links? who control them? who can verify if these links are natural, authentic, because anyone can place a link, say something and no one knows who really was and why? all we know is that someone placed a link (if was the owner, if he paid for the link, advertorial, review we don't know), we know his site example.com has more links and deserves a better ranking.

ColourOfSpring



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 3:12 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

let's hope not, because there's more than one way to do it. responsive design is not the only solution for good user experience on different screens - not even the best necessarily. i have two different layouts, a website and a webapp with server-side browser detection depending on screen size and touch capability. i'd find it unfair if google would reward others, resp. penalize my approach. they shouldn't get into the game to dictate our web design as well.


I get your point MoTi - in fact I am the same as you (offer alternative layouts), and when I meant "responsive" I just meant "have taken into account small screens" - I realise there's more than one way to do this - the truly responsive way (respond to screen resolution), and alternative layouts. In fact, I offer alternative layouts too just like you do, even though I lazily describe it as "responsive" (i.e. responding to user agent instead of screen resolution).

I also agree that catering to small screens is just one of many factors, but surely it's quite a big factor when you're actually using a small-screen device.

[edited by: ColourOfSpring at 3:14 pm (utc) on May 17, 2013]

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 3:12 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

If it isn't, they fall back on authority, and if they can't figure out the authority, they go with brand.


Interesting distinction - how do you think they define a difference between authority and brand? I've thought they lumped the two together for the most part.

If google closes their doors today what happens to my business?


That's what I've been asking myself since I first started building websites for users, and someone advised me to learn this SEO stuff. I looked it over and realized that made my business all about Google. So I learned just enough SEO to avoid penalties from Google - no sense wrecking free traffic - and still one site ended up Penguinized, because obviously I'm a bad naughty spammer, LOL.

But because I had always built my business on the assumption that web businesses can be short lived and anyone who's currently providing traffic or income to me might suddenly disappear (or morph beyond recognition), I had my best revenue year ever despite the Penguin thing.

The bottom line is, it's possible to not need Google (or any other individual company) so badly that your business will die without them.

Shepherd



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 3:21 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

First come the innovators, who see opportunities that others don't. Then come the imitators, who copy what the innovators have done. And then come the idiots, whose avarice undoes the very innovations they are trying to use to get rich. Warren Buffet


Guess where making a living on organic search is at in that cycle...

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 3:23 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Interesting distinction - how do you think they define a difference between authority and brand? I've thought they lumped the two together for the most part.


I don't know how Google does it. All I know is how I make the distinction, which (somewhat over simplified) boils down to:

brand = being known for what you do (your name is synonymous with your niche), and:

authority = being known for being the best at what you do.

They're not *quite* the same thing.

We all know of brands that are maybe even big brands (think K-Mart, JC Penney) but that most people wouldn't consider to be the best at what they do. They're brands, but they're not really authorities.

I'm an authority on a couple of weird little topics, but I'm not really a brand (other than my personal brand, for whatever that's worth)

That's how I see it, anyway.

[edited by: netmeg at 3:29 pm (utc) on May 17, 2013]

Zivush



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 3:25 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

The bottom line is, it's possible to not need Google (or any other individual company) so badly that your business will die without them.


Will it die because of them or without them? That's what many people ask.

I suggest to look at kids. They use smartphones. That's the way to go no matter what Google does, think or act. Responsive design or different CSS for different media devices.

chrisv1963

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 3:27 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Where did they go? Did the need for your information go away or are the customers/user finding it somewhere else?


Scrapers are happily distributing my information ...

ColourOfSpring



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 3:38 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think everyone is forgetting the definition of "great".

In a world that everyone does what is necessary to get by we forget that ordinary or adequate does not define greatness. It has to be extraordinary. It has to be above and beyond. It has to be better than anything that has been done before.

Find a need and fill it with the best content out there, package it in a container that outshines the competition and deliver it with faster speed than anyone else, and you will get close to having a "great" product.

How can you objectively tell if you have adequate, good, or great content? Look at your bounce rate and dwell time. High bounce rate and low dwell time means your content sucks. High bounce rate but high dwell time means that you satisfied their query. Low bounce rate and low dwell time means that they are having to work to find the information. Low bounce rate and high dwell time means that they are liking what they are seeing and want to see more.


For most companies providing a service or a tangible product, the content is just the window dressing, the "brochure". Not to say they shouldn't work hard on making that window dressing as appealing as possible, but their "greatness" will lie in the actual service or product itself, and it's that which they should work on and perfect. Google have greatly simplified what it is to be "great". They keep talking about content as if it's the end rather than the means. Content for many sites IS the product (the end) like SEO pundit sites, review sites etc. For MANY other sites, content describes their product/service - it's a means to an end. A big difference between the two. If I run a tree surgery company, I might have provided an excellent service for 20 years, and come highly recommended by my many happy customers. However, the "link graph" probably would not reflect it (my customers aren't webmasters or bloggers), so I'm not an "authority" in Google's eyes. Then another tree surgery company comes along - has less experience, offers a worse service at a higher cost to the customer. However, they hire a marketing company that essentially buys their website authority in a "white hat" way - setting up blog entries on the site with Google+ authorship, nice white hat authority links pointing in. In Google's eyes, this company is "better" because the content is better - yet the very reason why people visit the site is NOT for the content, but to find a great tree surgeon.

Of course, if you sell a commodity product, then the content - the window dressing - will be the distinguishing factor between you and a 1000 other vendors selling the exact same product (though I'd strongly advise companies NOT to sell commodity products, there are easier ways to run a business).

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 3:47 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Right but then the tree surgeon needs to figure out how to send out the right signals (Google is not a mind reader, no matter much they might think otherwise) and/or find different channels with which to market their service. Organic search isn't ever going to be the top solution for everyone, even if they have great rankings, and if you're really really good at what you do, you need to find a way to let people (real people, not search bots) know that.

taberstruths



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 3:53 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

If you like my tree surgery service like me on FB or Tweet about me on twitter for a 5% discount. Not hard to figure out how to show that your "service" is liked.

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 3:58 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Or even better, since trees are more or less "evergreen" (sorry), cultivate a mailing list, and email your customers periodically with your great content, advice, reminders that it's time for service, announcements, and so forth. Who needs Google?

muzza64



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 4:19 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Or if you're the best tree surgeon for miles around, just let word of mouth do the job for you. Then you won't need to bother with mailing lists, great content, advice, etc.. if you don't want to (which most tree surgeons probably don't).

If you're the best tree surgeon AND you set up a mailing list etc. you'll really be motoring though. Depends how much money you want to make and why you came into tree surgery in the first place.

The important bit is to be the best. Otherwise you have to be great at the other stuff to keep the business coming in.

Google is getting more and more like the real world every day.

ColourOfSpring



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 4:34 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Right but then the tree surgeon needs to figure out how to send out the right signals (Google is not a mind reader, no matter much they might think otherwise) and/or find different channels with which to market their service. Organic search isn't ever going to be the top solution for everyone, even if they have great rankings, and if you're really really good at what you do, you need to find a way to let people (real people, not search bots) know that.


netmeg, absolutely. Marketing is fundamental to most businesses success or failure. And being great at what you do helps the marketing all the more..... but I would argue that it's easier offline than online. Many companies do fine offline on word of mouth alone. Online though....there's too much noise. That 2nd company I mentioned that offered a mediocre-to-poor service probably wouldn't get much word of mouth offline, but they can make up for it online with some clever marketing and great content. My main point being: "greatness" online cannot be measured by content alone if content isn't actually your product or service. Great marketing perhaps, but it won't give the visitors what they really want (a great tree surgeon). We don't measure the best car by the best car brochure.

If you like my tree surgery service like me on FB or Tweet about me on twitter for a 5% discount. Not hard to figure out how to show that your "service" is liked.


taberstruths, I can only agree - that's the kind of thing this hypothetical company should be doing. But it shows that really what Google are rewarding is great marketing, not necessarily a great service or product.

Or if you're the best tree surgeon for miles around, just let word of mouth do the job for you. Then you won't need to bother with mailing lists, great content, advice, etc.. if you don't want to (which most tree surgeons probably don't).


muzza64, a third "aye" from me here - let me agree once more. I just think if I searched town + tree surgeon in Google, I'd get back the tree surgeons in my area who are involved with the most effective online marketing methods, not necessarily the ones that offer the best tree surgery services.

[edited by: ColourOfSpring at 4:39 pm (utc) on May 17, 2013]

Leosghost

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 4:39 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Funnily enough..I just built a site ( actually two sites one French and one English ) for a friend whose business is tree surgery ;)

Both sites are entirely responsive..if a tree lands on your house or is looking like it might in a high wind..you'd probably notice the latter while you were outside..and search for and call a tree surgeon via your phone ( so the site have "autodial buttons" in their nav..and the phone number ( which autodials when tapped is above the "fold" on every page..below it ( again on every page ) is a slide show of them working..using chain saws, cherry pickers, working in rivers, way up in trees on ropes..and using their stump grinders and log haulers and trucks etc..

In less than 10 seconds from arriving at the sites, you can see they know what they are doing..and the phone number says "tap here to call us"..

There is other text on each page..most people don't need to read it..and they'd have to scroll down to see it..

You hit the French site..you only speak English..each page has a British flag..tap it and you are on the English language site..and vice versa..

He already had some photos..I took some more..also made him some downloadable calenders using these photos, some downloadable screen savers, and some colouring book illustrations for his customers to download for their children..

Shot some videos of him and his guys at work ..put descriptions on them..put them on video sites..

Suggested to him to make use of "social" in the way that taberstruths mentioned..and some other ways..including what netmeg said about email "reminders"..

Went straight to page one(s ) in both languages for every KW combo I wanted..

He is now a busy business..and this is not normally his busy season..

I'm now working on quizzes for his site.."name the tree that this leaf is from etc"..and other stuff..( people's children have tablets..quizzes are educational..and sticky..) the colouring books you can print off or colour online..

Loads more ideas to use when I have the time on his sites..and I made the sites for "free"..( I burn "free" firewood from him in the chimney I built in our house, I just have to split it.. )..Think "outside the box"..

I don't normally build sites for other people..

People are telling other people about the "downloads" at his sites..and his traffic is showing this..pretty soon he'll be in "auto-suggest" for our region for some juicy keywords for him..

Btw..He is the best tree surgeon in the area anyway..now he also has the best website..and is hiring..

Ha already had a site made for him ( at great expense ) by the yellow pages..it is crap..but because of their interlinking it with 1000's of others..it was #1..

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 4:48 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

That 2nd company I mentioned that offered a mediocre-to-poor service probably wouldn't get much word of mouth offline, but they can make up for it online with some clever marketing and great content


In the short term, maybe. But it'll catch up with him eventually when word gets out. And that's where Google comes in (to the extent that it can) it measure reactions, not content, not even service. How can it possibly know if you're a "good" business, much less the best business, except by reactions? Every other signal is far too easily gamed. And I'm pretty sure Google knows that.

mcskoufis

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 4:52 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Leosghost excellent post :)

Leosghost

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 4:56 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Remember the guy who was selling spectacles ( couple of years ago now ..was all over the web )..? Crap service..loads of complaints online..but more people were talking about him, than were talking about the good guys..

He was doing huge business..just because of the "buzz" "boosting" his website at number #1..G just saw the "buzz"..

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 4:58 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

... and then he went to jail.

muzza64



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 5:04 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

LOL! That would be a great place to end this thread.

Leosghost

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 5:04 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

... and then he went to jail.


:))))))..My point was , as you were saying above re what G can "see"..G couldn't tell buzz from scam..but Buzz pushed him to the top of the SERPS..

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 5:31 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

For a while. People keep expecting Google to be perfect (including Google) Get over it. Nothing's perfect. NOTHING'S PERFECT.

Dymero



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 5:38 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

But it shows that really what Google are rewarding is great marketing, not necessarily a great service or product.


I disagree to an extent. It's really the only way they have to tell that your service or product is good. Not Facebook, obviously, but other services such as Yelp or G+ or Twitter, perhaps. They can't do it themselves, so they depend on those things.

Leosghost and netmeg basically hit the nail on the head, I think, "buzz." If you're suddenly getting more positive reviews (assuming sentiment analysis is actually a thing), then that does indicate quality service or product.

That said, I'm not convinced they do it that well. If sentiment analysis isn't a thing, then more reviews is just more reviews. And, of course, a surge of links doesn't tell sentiment (unless sentiment analysis is a thing and they're looking at positive co-occurence).

I wonder if that's the reason for the coming merchant quality update. By the way, it seems like that was announced years ago, but it was only in March.

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 7:16 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google was never intended to be able to help you find the most skilled and reliable plumber in your area. It's unfortunate that average net users think things like that can be "googled" in the first place. Google is a directory of websites, not a magic thing that can guide you to any solution, on or offline, to your various daily wants and needs. But people don't understand that.

A lot of what's actually "wrong" with Google is just that people try to use it for things a directory isn't designed for.

Leosghost

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 7:33 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google is a directory of websites, not a magic thing that can guide you to any solution, on or offline, to your various daily wants and needs. But people don't understand that.

Nor do Larry, Sergey, Eric, Amit..and a few others at "the 'plex'..possibly including Matt..

Had they also invented facebook..they might have been able to make that happen..

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 8:28 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

I seemingly wasted many hours creating mobile and responsive yet no one wants to use them even though they are only a click away.

Which version do the three (!) different mobile googlebots see?

Crap service..loads of complaints online..but more people were talking about him, than were talking about the good guys..

Truism: "there is no such thing as negative publicity".

ColourOfSpring



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 8:38 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google is a directory of websites, not a magic thing that can guide you to any solution, on or offline, to your various daily wants and needs. But people don't understand that.


Then what makes it better than any other directory out there?

Leosghost

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 8:44 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

It is bigger, crawls futher, deeper, faster ..and it lets publishers run webmaster welfare ( adsense* )..worldwide..

*If that was not the case..99% of websites would not exist..and nor would 98% of the posts on this website..

ColourOfSpring



 
Msg#: 4573600 posted 8:44 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

In the short term, maybe. But it'll catch up with him eventually when word gets out.


netmeg, I'm not really talking about out-and-out "scamming" companies. Of course they're going to attract bad publicity. I mean companies that have a middling/average/a-bit-below average service/product, but are great at online marketing (or more likely hired a great marketing company) - they are judged "better" by Google if they're better at online marketing. Marketing quality is a proxy for actual service/product quality in most instances. Sure, there's some outlier companies that truly get the praise and rankings they deserve, and that's great. But in my experience, Google simply can't tell the difference between companies that genuinely win great praise, and the other 95+% of companies that create their own buzz.

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